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Contractor Convicted in Arizona Reporter's Death

April 21, 1993| From Associated Press

PHOENIX — A jury convicted building contractor Max Dunlap of murder and conspiracy Tuesday in the 1976 car-bomb slaying of newspaper reporter Don Bolles.

It was the second trial for Dunlap, one of three men prosecutors say were hired to arrange and carry out the killing because of Bolles' reporting in the Arizona Republic about a powerful local businessman.

The Maricopa County Superior Court jury reached its verdict on the eighth day of deliberations.

John Harvey Adamson, the prosecution's key witness, testified that Dunlap hired him and former plumber James Robison to carry out the bombing. Adamson said he planted a dynamite bomb under Bolles' car and that Robison set it off by remote control. Bolles died 11 days after the bombing.

Prosecutors said that Dunlap arranged the killing at the behest of the late Kemper Marley, a businessman allegedly angry because Bolles' investigative reports had forced Marley to resign from the state Racing Commission.

Marley, who died of cancer in 1990, was never charged and denied any wrongdoing.

The conspiracy charge says that Dunlap bought the silence of Robison by giving money to the man's girlfriend and gifts to him.

"Nobody said life's fair," Dunlap told a relative as he was led from the courtroom.

Superior Court Judge Norman Hall scheduled sentencing for June 4. Dunlap faces either death by injection or a life prison term. Arizona Atty. Gen. Grant Woods said he had not decided whether to seek the death penalty. Among the factors to be weighed, he said, is Dunlap's age, 63.

Adamson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He is serving a 20-year prison term.

Robison is to stand trial after Dunlap. Both were convicted of murder in 1977, but those convictions were overturned in 1980.

Prosecutors alleged that Marley also wanted two others killed: Bruce Babbitt, then the state's attorney general and now the Interior secretary, and Marley employee Al Lizanetz. There never was an attempt on either man's life.

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